A roadside explosion killed 12 civilians and wounded four in southern Yemen today when a bomb targeting a military car hit their vehicle instead, a security source said. Two other people, including a soldier, were killed today in separate attacks also in southern Yemen, where the army has launched an offensive against Al-Qaeda. The deadliest attack was in Daleh province.
“The bomb was planted on a road in the Qaataba district of Daleh and hit a civilian vehicle instead,” said a security source who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to brief the press. Along with most of southern Yemen, Daleh is controlled by government forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who is allied with a Saudi-led Arab military alliance in a war against Iran-backed Huthi rebels. Yemeni special forces trained by the alliance member United Arab Emirates and backed by the United States this month launched a major operation in the southern Shabwa province against Yemen’s Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
AQAP has exploited years of conflict between the government and the rebels to expand its presence in southern Yemen. The jihadists are thought to have moved farther south into neighbouring Abyan province. An attack today wounded army General Ahmad al-Shbeili of the 115th brigade and killed his son in the town of Loder in Abyan. A source in the brigade told AFP Al-Qaeda gunmen were behind the deadly ambush. And a soldier was killed in the oil-rich Hadramawt province, east of Daleh and Abyan, when masked gunmen opened fire on a residential street, a security source there said.
AQAP regularly targets military outposts in southern Yemen. An Al-Qaeda suicide bomber killed five Yemeni soldiers and wounded 20 others in an attack last week on an army position in Loder.